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Old 02-07-2006, 09:34 PM
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Banjo Rear ??? with GM 5.3 V8

Hello to all...

I am starting a 34 Ford Roadster HiBoy project. I have an original 38 pickup banjo rear, wide-5 pattern. It has Buick aluminum finned brake drums, machined to keep the wide-5 hubs, all new bearings, wheel cylinders, brake shoes and the backing structures (not backing plates) are what was used for racing back in the 50s. It was all put together by an old (all respect intended) Racer from the 50s. I have the same matching set-up on a front axle.

The rear-end's axles and center section are stock. I plan to run narrow tires; probably about 6" to 7" wide. Will this unit be able to handle the torque from a new 290 H.P. GM 5.3 Gen III motor? The motor is a 2005 with less than 100 miles!

The motor will run stock internals and fuel injection. I want the reliability of the new EFL motor with the nostalgia looks of the older suspension. The motor will get a cosmetic treatment to make it look more like a vintage motor. Hard lookers will see its not old, but at first glance, you will wonder and want to take a closer look, hopefully.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-07-2006, 10:27 PM
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How are you going to hook the engine to the rear end ?
If you are using a enclosed driveline is possible that the rear end could live because the 10 inch clutch could act like a fuse.......and be the weak link. Axle keys also work as a fuse.......the weak link.

IF it is converted to open drive....and a modern transmission is is harder on the rear end...because of better gear ratios and coupling better.

I ran a stock 40 Ford rear end with a 270HP 283 for many years without any real a 40 Ford. The 10 inch clutch was a limiting factor in it's long life.

If you are determined to use a late engine.....a 4.8 instead of the 5.3 could be a wiser choice...

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Old 02-07-2006, 10:33 PM
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Banjo Rear ??? with GM 5.3 V8

If you run narrow tires, 6" to 7" wide, you should probably have no problems as the tire will break loose way before the rear end lets go. I ran 8" tires on my 40 Ford tudor with a 324 Olds in the 60's and never broke my stock rear end; but I sure did break a lot of 1st. gears on the cluster of the 39 transmission. In fact I even broke some trans mounts. I do remember a friend who broke a stock rear end in his 48 Ford tudor with a 283 Chev in it; but I'm not sure why. What transmission will you be running? With 290 hp and hard launches you may break a 38 rear end. If it was still the 60's it wouldn't matter as you could easily pick one up for five dollars. Today the price would be a lot more and they would be much harder to find.

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Old 02-07-2006, 11:04 PM
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I have a 4l60E trans but may consider using a manual. I probably would be changing over to an open rear.

I would consider moving the Buick Drums over to a 9" rear, but really wanted the look of the banjo. Plus, if I go with a 9", I would also have to engineer a way to keep the wide-5 hubs; I like the look.

As far a breaking the rear, I have more, but don't want to spend all my cruising time cleaning, re-conditioning and replacing rear ends.

I also have a good 60 H.P flathead, but I suspect that really wouldn't give me the 600 mile round-trip reliability of the late model EFI motor.

Maybe I need a project with the late motor and late suspension. And another project where I pair up the 60 H.P. flattie with the old suspension. There you go... 2 projects at one time. Now that's an idea.

Thanks for the input.
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